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Arctic: Climate Change

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 149566, tabled on 4 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the security implications of climate change in the high north.

Answered on

7 June 2018

The Arctic is currently an area of high international cooperation and low tension, and indications point to this remaining the case for the near future. Over time the receding ice will enable greater maritime traffic in the region, from fishing, commercial shipping and tourism. Competition for natural resources in the area in conjunction with the increased traffic could present greater opportunity for sources of international tension, terrorism, and piracy. Increased distances of maritime vessels from sovereign coastlines may exacerbate the difficulties of search and rescue in the region. The UK and our allies remain vigilant to changes in the region and their potential impact.

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